Monsters and romance are not a new pairing. King Kong, Beauty and the Beast and Shrek are good examples in which a connection is established between a woman and her monstrous companion. However the reverse, in which the female is the more ghastly of the two, has not been explored as frequently. In Spring, love is truly blind and completely committed.
Evan’s (Lou Taylor Pucci) life hasn’t gone to plan. College was put on hold to care for his sick mother and now he’s stuck bartending in his hometown. But when all his ties are swiftly severed, he seizes the opportunity to escape. Packing the essentials and buying a plane ticket, he fulfills his dream of travelling to Italy. There, Evan encounters Louise (Nadia Hilker), a beautiful woman who doesn’t seem to really belong anywhere. He falls head over heels for her, but her feelings are more reserved. She harbours a dark and dangerous secret that causes her to keep all her relationships superficial, but Evan may have finally broken through the wall.
This is definitely a role reversal in which the woman remains aloof, while the man bears his soul begging to be given a chance and hopefully loved in return. The first half of the film is composed as a typical romance story in which boy meets girl, boy pursues girl and eventually boy and girl fall into be together. However what follows is somewhat less traditional as Louise flees in the middle of the night, trying desperately to maintain her human form. Her ailment is hinted at and viewed briefly going forward, until an undeniable confrontation with Evan forces Louise to come clean and explain her condition. Once it’s out in the open, the monster romance goes into full bloom.
In spite of swapping gender roles, the conventional narrative structure in the beginning of the movie is still a bit of snooze. Even Evan’s life spiralling out of his control isn’t noteworthy. However when the first trace of Louise’s disorder is revealed, it naturally piques viewers’ interests and draws them back into the story. At that point, curiosity overrides any sense of tedium felt earlier. And once all is revealed, the eccentricities of her affliction are permitted to further distinguish the picture from the pack with its bizarre yet sweet love story.
Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead first gained attention with their co-directorial feature debut, Resolution in 2012, which they followed with a segment in V/H/S: Viral. Like their first film, this movie interweaves two relatively distinct concepts into a single picture. On the one hand, it’s a whirlwind European romance; on the other, it’s a mysterious creature feature. Once these two concepts meet, watching becomes a pretty enjoyable experience.
Directors: Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead
Starring: Lou Taylor Pucci, Nadia Hilker and Jeremy Gardner